Druids suffered a heavy defeat yesterday afternoon at the hands of in-form Newtown AFC.
The match kicked off in a sunny, hot Latham Park and it was Druids who created a big opportunity early on, catching The Robins napping. A free kick whipped in by Alex Darlington was pounced on by Naim Arsan 6 yards from goal, his snapshot before being closed down unfortunately went straight at the Newtown keeper. A big let off early on for The Robins.
Following that chance, both teams began probing each other’s defensive lines. Newtown began to find space in midfield with Jordan Evans and James Davies creating issues up front. Faux and Arsan were delivering dangerous balls into the box which were defended well by the Newtown centre halves. Phil Mooney and Aaron Simpson were also solid at the back for Druids as Newtown tried to get Davies and Tyrone Ofori in on goal.
Towards the half hour mark, Newtown had a good spell in our half, earning a number of corners and free kicks, but the Druids defence were staying organised and clearing the danger. However, on 32 minutes, another Newtown corner was whipped in and found defender Shane Sutton, who’s header flew in the side netting. 1-0 Newtown. Not long after, Newtown earned a freekick on the edge of the box. Ex-Druid Jordan Evans struck it sweetly into the corner of the net, increasing their lead.
Druids kept fighting with Charley Edge testing the keeper from 30 yards, however the ref blew for halftime and we went in 2-0 down.
The second half began and both sides were battling to get the all-important next goal. It was a tight game for the first 20 minutes or so until Tyrone Ofori had a great chance in the area, only for his strike to rebound off the crossbar. Academy graduate Brad Knight came on up front for Druids and immediately began causing issues to the Newtown defence. He had a great opportunity to get his first Cymru Premier goal when Joe Faux found him in the box with a cross from the left-hand side, only for his header to be saved well by the Newtown keeper. However great confidence was shown by Knight when he came on and a big positive for the club.
Not long after though, Newtown got that third goal they were after. The Robins caught us on the counter with James Davies getting in behind, he crossed to Nick Rushton who bundled the ball in to make it 3-0. The game got into the final 10 minutes only for matters to get worse. Iwan Cartwright after returning from injury, was shown a straight red card as the referee deemed him to have stamped on a Newtown midfielder’s leg trying to win the ball. Our opponents dominated the game from this point on as Druids switched off and looked deflated. The Robins found the gaps with the man advantage and got two more goals at the death through Jordan Evans and James Davies.
The only positive for Druids is that more of our academy graduates got minutes in the Cymru Premier. Brad Knight and Max Pritchard showed a good attitude and confidence on the ball when coming on. Encouraging signs for the future!
Our schedule continues as we travel to Aberystwyth Town on Tuesday night.
More than just a football club.